Spirit contributes to success for girls’ swim

[media-credit name=”Nina Kaplan” align=”alignleft” width=”300″] Team members cheer on swimmers during the 500 freestyle race.

by Jay Feinstein

Sporting a neon orange hair wrap, a pair of brightly-colored striped socks and a broad grin before Saturday’s South Sectional meet, senior Katie Wu said that girls’ swimming and diving is the most spirited team at this school.

Captain of the team with senior Niki Lew, Wu said spirit contributed to Saturday’s 10th place finish at MIT.

“Everyone had a ton of energy,” she said. “The eight people that competed worked really hard to get there, and they had the support of the whole team.”

Stand outs included sophomores Tara Courtney and Sammy Giang, who were competing for the first time at Sectionals. Senior Ariana Paone and juniors Monica Kieff, both divers, also did well, Wu said.

According to Wu, spirit is one of the team’s strengths this season. Before meets, members dress up like superheroes, assassins and twins. They even dressed up in all white in honor of one of the assistant coach’s marriage.

During meets, the Tigers line up by the side of the pool, screaming their famous “Tony the Tiger thinks we’re great” cheer.

Even outside of school, team members attend events including a  new tradition, “Flick and Float,” where the Tigers watched a movie projected on the pool wall as they treaded in the water with floaties. They also remade the Gangnam style video.

Traditions bring the Tigers together, Wu said.

“We all look crazy, but we look crazy together, and it’s great to show how proud we are of being on the team,” Wu said. Spirit makes competing feel exciting and “tells people what we’re about,” she added.

Saturday, the Tigers will compete in the Division I State meet at Harvard. “We have six or seven members competing, and it’s really exciting,” Wu said.

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